LEGAZPI CITY – A member of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) was killed after an eight-minute firefight with government forces in Barangay Sta. Teresa, Baao town in Camarines Sur province early this week.

In a statement on Wednesday, Maj. John Paul Belleza, 9th Infantry Division (9ID) spokesperson, said based on the report of the 49th Infantry Battalion, security operations were being conducted by the troops on Monday as part of the Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) when residents reported the presence of armed men in the area.

After the firefight, he said troops recovered from the encounter site various firearms including "one M16 Bushmaster Rifle; 84 ammunition for M16; three magazines for M16; one bandolier; three cellphones; one commercial radio; one stethoscope; and three bags of personal belongings."

Brig. Gen. Rudolph Dimas, Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO-5) director, said: "May isa na naman na nasawi na kababayan natin dahil sa patuloy na panlilinlang ng CTG. Hindi pa rin nila mapagtanto na itinatakwil na sila ng taong bayan, na tuloy-tuloy na ang pangsusuplong sa kanila, na paliit na ng paliit ang kanilang ginagalawan (Another Bicolano died because of the continuous deception of of the CTG. These rebels still don't realize that the people are already tired of them, they are continuously being reported, and their place is now getting smaller),"

Meanwhile, at least seven CPP-NPA rebels surrendered to government troops in Masbate province on Monday.

Maj. Malu Calubaquib, PRO-5 spokesperson, in an interview, said the rebel returnees were all members of the Larangan 2, Komite ng Probinsya 4 (KP4) that operates in the province's Third District.

"The combined elements of Philippine National Police of Bicol and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) facilitated the surrender of the CPP-NPA members in Barangay Poblacion, Cataingan, Masbate last Monday. One of the rebel returnees also turned over one unit .38 revolver without serial number and four rounds of ammunition for the same caliber," Calubaquib said.

She said all of the surrenderers have undergone a debriefing process and are set to receive benefits under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) including cash incentives, livelihood programs, and educational assistance.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The National Democratic Front has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA created in April 1973. (PNA)